Why Do Pedicures Tend To Last Longer Than Manicures?

Going to the salon and treating yourself to a mani-pedi feels like heaven untilĀ your nail polish starts to chip after only a few days. However, the polish on your toes seems to last forever. It's like your pedicure can survive anything, but your $50 mani can't withstand buttoning your jeans. If you have the same type of nail polish on your fingernails and toes, why does your pedicure last longer? Yeah, we use our hands more than our feet, but you'd expect some chipping from wearing shoes every day.


Fortunately, there are ways to make your nail polish last longer. According to WebMD, shorter nails don't break as easily as longer ones, so it might be a good idea to cut them down a bit and maybe consider an oval shape as well. Moisturizing your hands can make the world of a difference as well. Now, while these may solve the problem, it doesn't explain why our pedicures tend to last longer than manicures. So, what gives?

Washing your hands plays a huge factor

When you're constantly washing your hands throughout the day, your manicure is subjected to chipping way more than your pedicure. Water and oil can do serious damage to nail polish, as both substances can break down the chemical bonds that make up the product. This reaction causes nail polish to crack or peel off, Nail Care Headquarters explains. If you use a lot of oil-based products in your skincare routine in addition to frequently washing your hands, your manicure is going to chip a lot faster.


Even if you use a base and top coat, that doesn't mean your nail polish can't be penetrated by water. The reason being, water can still make its way to the underside of your nail, which does as much damage as it would without the protective coatings. Of course, we're not going to recommend you stop washing your hands. Luckily, you can still maintain your manicure without skipping soap and water. The key is to apply a top coat to the underside of your fingernails after painting them. Do this every day or every other day, and you'll see what a difference it makes.

Manicures require more upkeep

When you have flaky, dry cuticles, your nail polish is prone to chipping, says Namaste Nail Sanctuary. This goes back to washing your hands. The more you wash them, the drier your nails get, especially in the winter. To prevent your cuticles from drying out, it's important you moisturize on a daily basis, maybe more, depending on the climate. With that said, while you may enjoy the smell of your favorite hand lotion, switching to hand creams will do you more favors.


Lotions are fine, but because they are water-based they dry out quicker so they aren't able to penetrate the skin. Because of this, they don't really moisturize your skin, leaving your cuticles dry and flaky, Rush explains. You're better off using oil-based products, like Vaseline or hand creams. Applying either of these products every day will do wonders for your cuticles, meaning your manicure is more likely to last a lot longer.